Over a thousand Lumad celebrated the city government’s early Christmas treat, dubbed Pasko sa Lumad.
At least 1,427 families from the remote barangays in the second district received gifts and enjoyed the entertainment delivered by the city government on its opening days on Dec. 2.
The activity, according to City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) head Ma. Luisa Bermudo, has decreased the number of Lumad going to the Poblacion to ask for gifts.
“We provided them with these activities so that they don’t have to go down, and they can enjoy their own Christmas celebration while being safe,” Bermudo said.
The city noted the danger of Lumad who flocked to downtown during the Holidays. The risks included vehicular accidents and outbreak of diseases.
“Due to these activities we made for them, we were able to secure them safe at their homes,” she said.
The CSSDO, together with the City Engineers Office, is delivering 2,000 food packs everyday for the daily consumption of the Lumad in different shelter areas. This is in the form of rice, canned goods and noodles.
The City Health Office is also conducting medical consultations and dental check-ups. The Civil Registrar is also providing Lumad the opportunity for birth registrations and couples to avail the “kasalanan ng bayan.” The City Library Office also conducts story-telling activity for the kids to enjoy.
“A series of parlor games for kids and the adults are also provided for them to enjoy. We also have magic shows and showcasing of socio-cultural talents for the artists,” she added.
“It is a good initiative that the city government has conducted activities for them. In this way, we can divert their attention into making them busy for the events and we can assure that they are safe in their homes while enjoying the Christmas season,” she said.
Bermudo, however, said there are some Lumad who are still traveling to the city.
“We are monitoring these IPs (indigenous peoples) in the city. We have given instructions to the district heads to help us monitor them,” she said.
Lumad who are roaming in the downtown area will be brought back to their barangays. In that way, as Bermudo said, “they will surely be safe and away from the hazards (prevailing) in the city.”